How to Split Daffodil Bulbs


Nothing says spring like a garden full of shining yellow daffodils. With just a few initial bulbs, you can fill an area in a few years by separating the new bulb growth to make new plants for your next season's garden. Like other bulbous flowers, daffodils produce and store the next season's growth in the tough layers of the bulb. New bulbs need a a couple of years to mature before being divided from the original. You'll know it's time to divide your daffodils when your plant stops blooming as strong, or when it gives uneven plant height or uneven bloom height.

Step 1

Insert your spade straight down and dig up the entire plant after the bloom dies off. Be careful to not damage the bulb. Do not cut off or damage the leaves or stems either, as doing so can cause fungus or insects to enter the bulb.

Step 2

Shake out excess dirt from the bulb mass. If there's only one onion-shaped bulb, then replant or set aside for summer storage. Spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips go dormant in the summer and spend fall and winter growing the bulb and roots and preparing for new growth. If you do store bulbs for the summer, keep them in a cool, dry place in a paper bag.

Step 3

Hold each new bulb individually and continue to shake lightly until it comes loose from the original bulb. Run water over the bulb mass to help loosen any stubborn ones.

Step 4

Plant new bulbs along with the original bulb immediately. Dig a trench about 6 to 8 inches deep for large-bulb varieties. Place bulbs with the roots down and the nose up, spaced as you wish.

Step 5

Mulch and water immediately after planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never force, cut or pull new bulbs off of the original, as this can damage the growing plant inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Water
  • Paper bag (optional)


  • American Daffodil Society Growing Tips
  • Bulbs and More

Who Can Help

  • Daffodil Culture
Keywords: growing daffodils, planting bulbs, dividing daffodil bulbs

About this Author

Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University to study education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills reusing, recycling and reinventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.